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BackStory with the American History Guys

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BackStory is a weekly one-hour public radio show that provides a national broadcast audience with an enjoyable and accessible way of engaging challenging themes in American history and how they connect with today. The show is hosted by renowned historians Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers, and Brian Balogh. BackStory’s signature sound and spirit of inquiry emanates from the hearts and minds of its genial hosts, whose unscripted brilliance reflects a warmth and rapport that comes from their longtime friendship.

Please confirm carriage of BackStory with the American History Guys by contacting Melissa LaCasse at 207.776.4926 or lacassemelissa@gmail.com.

Moving from current headlines to drill down into U.S. history, each surprising BackStory episode features lively interviews with a diverse roster of scholars, experts, and ordinary citizens from around the country; listener calls; host discussions; and produced pieces. Topics are as diverse as college sports, reenactments, sugar, memorials, domestic terrorism, birthing, homeownership, the post office, philanthropy, protests, privacy, marriage, revivalism, and childhood—all in the context of American history.

Since BackStory first began as a monthly show in 2008, episodes have been broadcast by more than 130 primary stations in 39 states, 29 in the top 50 markets by population. Podcasts have been downloaded 1.4 million times.

BackStory is produced by VFH Radio at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional corporate, foundation, institutional, and individual support.

Please visit our station landing page for upcoming episodes, promotional photos, and other information.

 


Pieces

Caption: ‘The greatest department store on earth; — and every day a bargain day,’ by J.S. Pughe. Puck, 1899.
30-second promo for "Counter Culture: A History of Shopping" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag. Full episode to be ...

  • Added: Dec 17, 2014
  • Length: :00
Caption: ‘The greatest department store on earth; — and every day a bargain day,’ by J.S. Pughe. Puck, 1899.
30-second promo for "Counter Culture: A History of Shopping" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: Dec 17, 2014
  • Length: :30
Caption: “Salvation Army, San Francisco." Dorothea Lange, 1939. , Credit: Library of Congress.
’Tis the season for giving. And on this episode, BackStory will give you history exploring how ideas about charity, philanthropy and generosity hav...

Bought by WRPI, Northeast Indiana Public Radio, KVNF, KBRP Community Radio, WCAI / WNAN and more


  • Added: Dec 12, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: “Salvation Army, San Francisco." Dorothea Lange, 1939. , Credit: Library of Congress.
’Tis the season for giving. And on this episode, BackStory will give you history exploring how ideas about charity, philanthropy and generosity hav...

  • Added: Dec 12, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “Salvation Army, San Francisco." Dorothea Lange, 1939., Credit:  Library of Congress.
30-second promo for "What Gives: Generosity in America," with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio, Troy Public Radio, and WYAP


  • Added: Dec 09, 2014
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 3
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Producer Andrew Parsons explores the legacy of John Tyler, a man who was called a tyrant and worse simply for insisting that he was, in fact, the P...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 08, 2014
  • Length: 08:30
  • Purchases: 1
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What is the role of the First Lady, anyway? Host Brian Balogh and scholar Lisa Burns discuss the ill-defined role of First Ladies, and the backlash...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 08, 2014
  • Length: 09:45
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Legal scholar Bruce Ackerman talks about how presidents from Lincoln to Obama have used their military powers. This segment is from the BackStory e...

  • Added: Dec 08, 2014
  • Length: 09:22
Caption: “L’etat, c’est moi!” Teddy Roosevelt crowning himself on the cover of Puck Magazine. , Credit: Credit: Library of Congress.
With Republicans expected to gain seats in the House and Senate, it looks like President Obama will cap off his time in office with more gridlock. ...

  • Added: Dec 05, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “L’etat, c’est moi!” Teddy Roosevelt crowning himself on the cover of Puck Magazine. , Credit: Library of Congress
With Republicans expected to gain seats in the House and Senate, it looks like President Obama will cap off his time in office with more gridlock. ...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KBRP Community Radio, WRGY, WJFF, WRPI and more


  • Added: Dec 05, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: “L’etat, c’est moi!” Teddy Roosevelt crowning himself on the cover of Puck Magazine. , Credit: Credit: Library of Congress.
30-second promo for "Tyrannophobia: Uses & Abuses of Executive Power," with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

Bought by WRGY


  • Added: Dec 02, 2014
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
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Ed sits down with historian Adam Shprintzen to discuss the 19th-century Americans who saw a vegetarian diet as a powerful tool of moral reform, one...

Bought by XRAY.fm and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 08:45
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle
Ed talks with Pomona College English professor Kyla Wazana Tompkins about the austere diet created by Sylvester Graham, designed to ward off a new ...

  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 10:09
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle
Host Brian Balogh talks with food journalist Marian Burros about the US Senate’s attempt to encourage healthy eating in the 1970s, and the pushback...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 07:41
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Chief Hollow Horn Bear depicted as the “American Indian” on a 14-cent stamp, 1922. , Credit: U.S. Postal Service.
Historian Christian McMillan discusses a legal case between the Hualapai tribe and the Santa Fe Pacific Railroad, which makes it all the way to the...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 09:53
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Chief Hollow Horn Bear depicted as the “American Indian” on a 14-cent stamp, 1922. , Credit: U
Historian David Wallace Adams tells the story of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team, who were successful on the field - but not al...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 07:52
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Chief Hollow Horn Bear depicted as the “American Indian” on a 14-cent stamp, 1922. , Credit: U.S. Postal Service.
Producer Kelly Jones and scholar Barbara Meek talk through Hollywood Indian English - a grammatical stereotype that often endures in today's media ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 07:11
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle , Credit: Library of Congress
Until recently, the link between a high fat diet and heart disease was one of the touchstones of modern medicine. But new research has thrown that ...

  • Added: Nov 28, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle , Credit: Library of Congress
Until recently, the link between a high fat diet and heart disease was one of the touchstones of modern medicine. But new research has thrown that ...

Bought by RadioFreePalmer, WEZU, WRIR, WRGY, XRAY.fm and more


  • Added: Nov 26, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle , Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Health Nuts: A History of Nutritional Advice [rebroadcast]" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

Bought by Troy Public Radio


  • Added: Nov 25, 2014
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1